Business Report: Infrastructure bill, wind energy industry, cryptocurrency price swings

Economic analysis suggests that infrastructure investment would create 29,000 new jobs in NJ

Despite much discussion in Washington, there’s still no deal between Democrats and Republicans on the massive infrastructure bill proposed by President Biden a few weeks ago. The Biden administration is also trying to win support from business leaders. The Business Roundtable, which represents top CEOs in the country, released an economic analysis that found infrastructure investment would create 29,000 new jobs in New Jersey this decade and boost growth for the state’s businesses. The big sticking point on the bill remains how to pay for it.

The state is exploring how to get residents prepared for jobs in New Jersey’s growing wind energy industry. The Economic Development Authority has launched a competitive grant program for community colleges to come up with a workforce training program. Up to $1 million will be awarded to a school that creates an offshore-wind turbine technician training program.  The EDA wants the schools to collaborate with union trade groups on the program, and says it should lead to an associate’s degree or higher.

The cryptocurrency Bitcoin experienced a steep drop in price Wednesday,  some investors. Bitcoin has been around since 2009, but it’s only in recent years that investing in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies has really taken off. The big price swings we’re seeing aren’t surprising, according to Rutgers University Professor Mirrov O-Zare, an expert in digital currency. She says the fluctuations are part of cryptocurrency’s growing pains. She says the technology behind cryptocurrency, the database known as blockchain, is here to stay and will become more mainstream.